BBC Cymru Wales heralds a new approach to innovation as connected studio comes to Cardiff

The Connected Studio concept isn’t just about developing websites - it’s about how the BBC and our partners continue to break new ground in digital, interactive development.”Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director, BBC Cymru Wales
Date: 18.02.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 17.50
Digital agencies, TV companies, technology start-ups and individual designers and developers will be gathering with BBC staff at an event in Cardiff Bay on Thursday 21 February. They will all have one goal in mind – developing ideas that help shape the future of the BBC’s digital and interactive services.

The all-day event is the first part of the BBC’s pioneering digital innovation programme – dubbed the Connected Studio – which will connect three BBC locations in Cardiff, Salford and Glasgow via smart videoconferencing technology.

The event will help support the Knowledge and Learning part of BBC Online, which brings together over 200 existing BBC topical websites in one interactive package, from food to science and health to history. It will also allow users to find related content across the rest of BBC Online, including news, sport and weather.

During the course of the day, participants will work in groups to develop ideas against an Innovation Brief, and they’ll have access to audience research and BBC expertise. These ideas are then pitched - Dragons’ Den style - to a panel of assessors.

The assessors in Wales meet a few days later to agree which ideas get to progress to the next round - a two-day event in Salford in March. There, the successful ideas will be developed into more detailed proposals. Ultimately up to three teams who progress to the final stage will be allocated a budget of up to £50,000 or the equivalent BBC staff time to build and test a prototype of the idea.

The event is expected to be the first of many similar ones in Wales and signals a brand new digital commissioning model for BBC Cymru Wales and its partners, including S4C.

“The Connected Studio concept isn’t just about developing websites - it’s about how the BBC and our partners continue to break new ground in digital, interactive development,” says Rhodri Talfan Davies, Director of BBC Cymru Wales. “With new digital platforms, smartphones and tablets, new digital formats are emerging all the time and we want to harness the ideas of freelance development, digital agencies and our own staff to ensure our services – here in Wales and right across the UK - are right at the forefront of digital innovation.”

S4C’s Director of Content, Dafydd Rhys, says: “We’re really pleased to be associated with this event, which is focused on developing new and innovative digital projects. The Connected Studio model creates the potential for S4C and the BBC, along with other key partners, to develop new digital technologies which will enhance the experiences of Welsh audiences. S4C is proud to be working with a number of partners to enhance our ability as a nation to embrace the digital age and offer cutting edge opportunities to our audiences.”

For further information and availability of spaces go to: bbc.co.uk/partnersandsuppliers/connectedstudio/

MCR